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EXPO offers new downtown lunch option starting next week

EXPO food hall plans to open next week in Main Street’s Market Arcade building, aiming to disrupt the lunch routines of downtown Buffalonians.

When it begins its soft-opening phase at 11 a.m. Feb. 18, six restaurants will be offering meals that aim higher than standard  quick-serve fare. Built into the Theater District space at 617 Main St. last occupied by Perfetto, it’ll set an official grand opening in a few weeks.

EXPO will be the only downtown venue able to handle large groups without reservations, and everyone will have a seat at the table, said manager Paul Tsouflidis. “The market mix is the most diverse in the area, offering a range of cuisine options from a Thanksgiving hoagie at Bobby Alfman’s to mango sticky black rice from Sun Roll.”

Here’s the opening day lineup:

Newbury Street, a second location of Tsouflidis’ Elmwood Avenue healthy foods emporium, will offer salads, rice bowls and burritos.

Page one of the opening day menu for Newbury Street inside EXPO.

Page one of the opening day menu for Newbury Street inside EXPO. Click the image for a full-size shot.

Page two of Newbury Street's menu.

Page two of Newbury Street's menu.

Crush Juicery, another Tsouflidis operation, will offer juices, smoothies, acai bowls and more.

The menu for Crush Juicery's spot in EXPO.

The menu for Crush Juicery's spot in EXPO. Click for a larger image.

Gypsy Bohemian Grove Bar, from Gabrielle Mattina (Gypsy Parlor), will be EXPO’s adult beverages purveyor, with 24 beer taps, cocktails and wine.

The cocktail and coffee list from GBGB in EXPO. Click for a larger image.

The cocktail and coffee list from GBGB in EXPO. Click for a larger image.

The wine list from GBGB in EXPO.

The wine list from GBGB in EXPO.

Sun Roll, from Kevin Lin of Sun Restaurant, will offer original Asian fusion dishes like burrito-sized wraps with meat, vegetable or seafood fillings, black rice salads and sushi rolls.

Mega Sun Rolls available from Sun Roll in EXPO.

Mega Sun Rolls available from Sun Roll in EXPO.

The menu from Sun Roll, continued. (Click for a larger image).

The menu from Sun Roll, continued. (Click for a larger image).

Desserts, drinks and more from Sun Roll inside EXPO. Click for a larger image.

Desserts, drinks and more from Sun Roll inside EXPO. Click for a larger image.

Mercato, from Osteria 166’s Nick Pitillo and Jeff Cooke Jr., will let lunchgoers design their own pastas, and also offer meatballs, risotto sticks and more.

Mercato's design-your-own pasta menu.

Mercato's design-your-own pasta menu.

Marcato's opening day lineup in EXPO.

Marcato's opening day lineup in EXPO.

Bobby Alfman’s Gourmet Sandwiches, from J.J. Alfieri, Bobby Missana and Charlie Goldman, will offer deli sandwiches and Italian specialties like porchetta.

Gourmet sandwiches from Bobby Alfman's in EXPO.

Gourmet sandwiches from Bobby Alfman's in EXPO. Sorry, the image we received was a little stretched.

“At the heart of every great city is a thriving downtown that attracts people with a vibrant mix of retail, restaurants, entertainment and the arts,” said developer Nick Sinatra, whose company owns the building.

“The mayor’s Cars Sharing Main Street initiative was a big help—cars are back, retail is on the rise—and we saw a great opportunity for an upscale craft food and beverage market concept like EXPO to succeed and spur interest and activity to our city center.”

Send restaurant news to agalarneau@buffnews.com

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